The Staff

Carmel DoylePaul ThornTim EvansJackie LawsonLiz CassidyMichelle TaylorDiane Craig

Email: cmdoyle@focusfamilymediation.co.uk

Background

Carmel qualified as a solicitor in 1988, became a partner in a Sheffield law firm just over two years later and was made head of the family law department in 2000. She trained as a family mediator in March 2000 and worked as both a mediator and solicitor until 2011 when she decided to concentrate on mediation.

Reputation

Carmel has built up an excellent reputation as a family mediator with many cases being referred to Carmel by solicitors who know that she will look after their clients and do a good job for them. Many clients also recommend their family and friends to Carmel because they themselves found mediation to have been a positive experience and found Carmel to be professional, knowledgeable and thorough.

Experience

Carmel deals with all types of family mediation including financial settlements for divorcing and separating couples, arrangements for children, contact for grandparents, disputes between couples who have lived together and generally any issues arising as a result of the breakdown in a relationship.

Carmel is specifically qualified to conduct child inclusive mediations or Direct Child Consultation as it is also known. In appropriate cases, Carmel is asked to prepare reports for court.

Approach

Carmel’s approach is a practical, realistic one whilst remaining impartial at all times and helping clients to maintain a sense of proportion equally for those who are paying their own costs and those who are receiving legal aid.

What Carmel says

I am extremely enthusiastic about mediation because having worked as a family Solicitor for so many years, I am acutely aware of the worries and uncertainty that people experience when trying to fight for a result rather than trying to work out a solution together. I take great pride in helping couples to find ways of working with each other as effectively as is possible. It is very important to me that anyone going through the mediation process finds it to be a positive experience and I will always do my best to help couples reach a successful conclusion.

Personal

Carmel was born and brought up in Sheffield. She is married with two teenage children and when not taxiing children around she enjoys pottering in the garden, playing netball and running….. even at her age…

Email: paul.thorn@focusfamilymediation.co.uk

Background

Paul has been helping clients deal with the consequences of the breakdown of a relationship for more than 30 years. He is a solicitor and from 1982 until 2011 he acted as a solicitor dealing with family law issues. Initially this was with Mills & Reeve in Norwich and then from 1988 he was with Wake Smith in Sheffield. He was a partner in that firm from 1991 and head of the family law department from 1993 until he left in 2011 to work exclusively as a family mediator.

Experience

Paul initially trained as a mediator in 1997. He is fully accredited by the Legal Services Commission as an All Issues mediator. This means that he can mediate in both financial disputes and those involving children.

Paul had been working as a mediator at Focus operating within Wake Smith. However in 2011 he and Carmel decided to establish Focus family Mediation as a business independent of the law firm.

Having trained with Resolution, Paul has been accredited by the LSC to deal with mediations for clients who qualify for Legal Aid. He is a member of Resolution and is regulated by the Family Mediation Council. He remains a solicitor registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Since 1993, Paul has also worked as a Deputy District Judge in the courts of South Yorkshire and Humberside.

Approach

Paul aims to support clients in the mediation process using his many years of experience to develop a variety of options as a way of overcoming what appear to be difficult or impossible issues. He recognises that many clients feel under great pressure before they come into mediation and that it is important to adapt the process to fit the needs of each client. He is committed to all clients having a positive experience in mediation and he works tirelessly to helping them to achieve outcomes that are practical, effective and acceptable to both parties.

Personal

Paul lives in the Peak District. He is married with two children, one of whom is at university. When spare time permits he likes skiing, sailing and creating a mess in his allotment.

Background

Tim has over 30 years experience as a solicitor since 1979.  Tim worked for a number of solicitors firms in Sheffield, Mexborough and Doncaster but finally in Chesterfield where he was a partner in the firm of Kieran Clarke Green. It was via this firm that Tim ran his mediation practice covering Chesterfield, Barnsley and Rotherham from 1997 until 2012.  As a solicitor he was a Family Law Specialist, being a member of Resolution’s Specialist Panel and the Law Society’s Specialist Panel. He is also a member of the Law Society’s Family Mediation Panel and focuses mainly on mediation work now but also is a Deputy District Judge on the Midlands Circuit.

Experience

Tim trained as a mediator with Resolution in 1997 in finance and property, children and all issues mediation, gaining Resolution Accredited Mediator status in June 2002.  Under the new regulations Tim also has Accredited Mediator Status via the Family Mediation Council.  Tim became accredited by the Legal Services Commission in November 1999 to undertake legally aided mediations. Tim is a trainer in mediation and co-presents mediation foundation courses for Resolution, training new mediators.  He is also a Profession Practice Consultant supporting and supervising other mediators in their services.  He remains a solicitor registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Approach

Tim, in addition to the other mediators in Focus Family Mediation, aims to support clients in the mediation process using his many years of experience to develop a variety of options as a way of overcoming what appear to be difficult or impossible issues. He has dealt with clients from all sorts of different financial and cultural backgrounds and is able to adapt the process to fit the needs of each client. He is committed to all clients having a positive experience in mediation whatever the eventual outcome.  Above all he seeks to help clients achieve outcomes, in a cost effective way, that are practical, effective and acceptable to both clients.

Personal

Tim has lived in Sheffield all his life. He is married and has 3 children and one granddaughter. When spare time permits he practices the Korean martial art of Hapkido.  He was an instructor in Taekwondo (being a 4th Dan) for over 20 years but is now a student in the less strenuous but more painful art of Hapkido!

Background

Jackie has worked as a solicitor for over 30 years, and has worked in family law, helping clients not only as a solicitor, but also as both a mediator and a collaborative lawyer. She has worked in general and specialist family practices in Doncaster, Sheffield and Chesterfield for more than 25 years.

Experience

Jackie trained as a mediator in the early 1990s and having gained significant experience, was accredited by FMA in 1995. She continued to mediate until around 2000, and updated her Mediation skills with Resolution in 2011. She undertakes mediation in property and finance, children or mixed issues.

Approach

Jackie enjoys the flexible and creative work that mediation involves, and also helping both the participants in the process in an even handed and neutral way. This has attracted her back to full tie practice as a mediator. She is keenly aware of the stress and cost of the legal process for those experiencing relationship breakdown.  This drives her commitment to help them find a way to work together to achieve solutions that will work for both of them, leaving their future in their own hands.

Personal

Jackie lives in Sheffield with her husband.  Their 3 children are now adult and established independently in London and Switzerland. Jackie enjoys reading and is a member of a local book group. She enjoys gym based fitness classes, dance, food and drink, fashion and travel.

Background

Liz qualified as a solicitor in 2007 and has over 10 years experience in family law, having worked in a large family law department in Sheffield. She became an accredited specialist in financial and children matters in 2013.

Liz qualified as a mediator in 2012 and achieved the legal aid accreditation as an ‘All Issues” mediator in 2015 which means that she can assist with both financial and children matters. Liz is now concentrating solely on mediation whilst maintaining a keen interest in family law in practice.

Experience

In relation to children matters, Liz has mediated in a wide range of cases including those involving other family members for example grandparents, cases involving a proposed relocation of a child from the jurisdiction, cases involving mental health factors and those where there is social services involvement. Liz has experience in dealing with all aspects of financial matters from cases with lower value assets and debt to more complex cases involving assets of a larger value and businesses.

Approach

Having acted as a Solicitor in Court proceedings and having seen how emotionally and financially draining this process can be, Liz recognises the clear benefits to individuals in finding a solution to the issues concerning their children and their finances themselves. Liz is passionate about helping clients resolve matters in a way that is fair and focused on the interests of the children.

Personal

Liz moved to Sheffield from the Lake District in 2001. She is married with two young children who keep her busy and entertained when she is not working. She enjoys park trips with the children, spending time with friends and family, cooking, baking and eating chocolate! She also loves escaping out into the Peak District when she gets the chance.

Email: mtaylor@focusfamilymediation.co.uk

Michelle is the mediation assistant and will be your first point of contact. She will be able to offer appointments and general information about mediation.

Michelle was born and educated in Sheffield. She left school in 1987 and was employed for a considerable time in a well established law firm before joining Focus Family Mediation in 1997. Michelle has a keen interest in computers and reading and relaxes by playing classical guitar and listening to music. She spends most of her leisure time supporting her daughter who is a figure skater.

Email: diane@focusfamilymediation.co.uk

Diane was born in Sheffield and has in solicitors and mediators offices since leaving school about 27 years ago! She started off as an office junior and then moved on to become a secretary/mediation assistant.

She spends most of her time with family and friends and enjoys reading and summer holidays.

Why Mediation?

What is mediation?

Mediation is a process that helps people sort out the issues that often arise as a result of the breakdown of a relationship. It is different from going to court or using a solicitor to negotiate on your behalf. more...

My solicitor has referred me

Your may have been referred to us by your solicitor for a number of different reasons. Whatever the reason we are here to help you come to a decision. more...

Cost of Mediation

Compared to using a solicitor, mediation is an extremely cost effective way of dealing with the issues that may arise following a separation. You may be eligible for Legal Aid. more...

Benefits of Mediation

Summed in five simple words.

  • Simplicity
  • Speed
  • Creativity
  • Control
  • Communication

  • more...

I want to try mediation

You do not need a solicitor to come to mediation. You can contact Focus Family mediation yourself to find out all about mediation before deciding whether you want to go ahead. more...

Child Consultation

Sometimes parents disagree about what is best for their children. One way of dealing with this is for the child or children to become involved in the mediation by talking directly with the mediator. more...

Contact Us

Call us on 0114 230 0905 or
email on info@focusfamilymediation.co.uk